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Smart Buying

Best Time to Buy Big-Ticket Items

To every car, appliance or home, there is a season.

You could save a bundle if you make major purchases at times when prices are most likely to be at their lowest levels of the year.

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Car. In early fall, dealers are trying to clear their lots to make room for the new models, so you’re likely to find generous discounts, cash rebates and extra-low-interest financing on the outgoing models. It can also help to wait until the end of the month, preferably a weekday, when dealers are eager to meet their sales quotas and even more willing to reduce prices. (See: How to Get a Great Deal On a New Car.)

Home. House-hunting in February can save you some serious cash. The median selling price of a home was 6% less, on average, compared with the rest of the year, according to a recent study from Attom Data Solutions, which tracks real estate data. (See our quiz: How Smart a Home Buyer Are You?)

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Major appliance. Wait until September or October to buy a new dishwasher and dryer, and other major appliances. You can expect to find discounts of about 20% or more on older models as retailers make space for new arrivals. (See our quiz: How Long Should It Last?)

Smartphone. New phones typically drop in price a few months after their release date—which varies by manufacturer—but the previous-generation phone’s price falls immediately. For example, when Apple released the iPhone 7 last September, prices on the older 6s dropped by almost $100, according to DealNews.com.

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